Do you know that your fancy Smartphone can’t work without a proper functioning cell tower? And if that tower stops functioning, someone has to check the things and fix it. That someone is called a Tower climber. A tower climber is a creature brought from Mars. He is so hard and tough that an extreme dangerous task looks fun in front of him. Here are few terrifying realities of cell tower climbers you should know.
1-Getting Too Close To an Antenna can Cook Your Skin
Cell radiations can cause cancer, well this is an old myth and it is proved now that use of cell phones can’t cause any type of cancer. The electromagnetic waves intensity emitted by cell phone is so small in amount that it can’t hurt you at any level. However the radiations emitted by cell tower antennas are dangerous. The continuous exposure to the live antenna can affect your skin which is called RF burn. It is just like a sun burn. You need to shut down the working sector to limit the permissible level of radiations transmitted by an Antenna.
2-On The Cell Tower, The World Is Your Toilet
Yes. That’s true, when you stay up there at 400 feet for six to eight hours, drink a lot of water and energy drinks, you need to pee. You are not a Spiderman who come down just to urinate and then climb again in seconds. So there are rules to get this done. The one who is going to pee must give a sign so the ground staff takes the shelter. Heads up boys I’m sending shit down, “Yellow rain” is the term used when you have a need to pee.
3-Deadly Objects Get Dropped Without Alarming
While working on towers it is strictly prohibited for ground staff to roam freely below There are always chances that you get dropped wrenches, nuts, bolts, mounting poles, brackets, antennas and other objects. A wrench can reach terminal velocity of 177 ft/s before it hit the ground. With that speed the falling objects can shatter any part of you it hits. Even the hard hats can’t make you safe from heavy objects. Ground guys should stay in a shelter or any other safer place; else there is a possibility that these falling objects can crack their head into pieces.
4-Don’t Get Paid Enough
You will be shock to know that there are countries where tower climbers get paid $150/month as a salary including all the benefits. While working in remote locations, day and night without caring about your health and family things, you only get a hundred bucks in your pocket as your monthly salary. These savage subcontractors and vendors in countries like Pakistan, Bangladesh and India are so cruel and greedy that they only give you money for survival. While making huge profits they have no concern how a Tower climber is living his life miserably.
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5-Unrealistic Customer timelines
Do you want a stressful and uncomfortable job? Come make your career as a tower climber.
The networks are demanding way too much out of contractors and pushing crews to perform needless acts like night time cutovers and bad weather inclement. When your customer is on fire means you are riding a bike, except the bike is on fire and you are on fire and everything is on fire and you are in Hell. The ultra pressure of meeting the objectives in given time is hard thing to do. Customer always in hurry to complete task before deadline. While outage is really a big issue for customers so you have to speed up the things. This extra pressure often gives anxiety and a painful environment to Tower hands.
6-Working in -40°C on Icy and Wet Towers
It’s winter. The outer temperature is – 40 c. Something wrong happened at tower. Dude packs your bags and go solve the issue. Climbing on wet or ice covered dark towers can be a worst experience, or possibly having a crew member gets injured or locks up on you. Climbing on wet and icy tower in snow storms is a life threatening activity. Imagine you’re at 600 feet high above the earth and there approach a thunderstorm. Tower climbers face all these job’s hardships. Salute to their courage of still doing their job honestly with dedication.
7-Most Dangerous Job in the World
Being a tower climber is one of the most dangerous jobs in the world. Working in extreme conditions on a height of hundreds of feet above the ground level, without caring of weather harshness is commendable. Finding holes in the legs or guy wires splitting apart is never a fun situation when you are 200+ feet up. Slippery towers, Snow storms, thunderstorms, bees, snakes, fierce birds, freezing temperature, cooking skin antenna’s radiations, chance of electric shock from hot wires, falling objects, falling from towers and many more are the factors which make Tower Climber the most dangerous Job in the world.
Having an incompetent crew is a nightmare. Doing shady work and not thinking about the next guy on the tower. What that guy said the person that was there before you. You never know if they tightened every nut, if they mounted every mount correctly. And people cheating the system and not using their safety gear properly, no one specific but shortcuts can kill you. You don’t always know the qualifications of the guy who was up there before you.
9-Bees, Snakes and Fierce Birds on the Tower
It’s a sunny day. It should be a great day for a nice climb. You start climbing; wait… what… it’s a bee’s hive on the way? You first need to get rid of them. Then on the way up here comes the eagles welcoming you with their pointy beaks and sharp claws. Eagles attack at top of the tower right on the head. Unfortunately if they have a nest right behind the antenna, boy you are in deep trouble. Sometimes there are snakes up there welcoming you.
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10-Where will I work next month?
Being out of work is a big headache for Tower climbers. Keeping the job is tough. Will I get fired or laid off if I say something? Getting laid off really sucks, but it is very common in this business. If a company asks you not to work because they may call you back soon, don’t hold your breath. Instead look at the industry to see what is going on. They need lame reasons to fire you. It could be a drug test or anything else. Keep your eyes open, maintain your logs properly, avoid drinking while work and always stay connected within fellow climber’s community.
Tower climbers are like Military veterans, they should have the same respect because they risk their balls for everybody’s calls! My hats off to anyone involving themselves in the business!
The clowns behind their desks have no clue! How tough and hard life Tower climbers has.
Be safe out there folks.
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